Ganesh mandals in Mumbai want silence zones gone

Updated on Jul 23, 2017 01:00 AM IST
Ganesh mandals will speak to MPs and MLAs in their constituencies to put pressure on the Centre to abolish silence zones
Last year, noise levels during Ganpati reached 116.4 dB. In 2015, noise levels reached 123.7 dB (as loud as a thunderclap).(For representation)
Last year, noise levels during Ganpati reached 116.4 dB. In 2015, noise levels reached 123.7 dB (as loud as a thunderclap).(For representation)
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Demands from mandals to do away with silence zones are growing louder across the city.

The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), the umbrella body of Ganesh mandals, has asked mandals to speak to MPs and MLAs in their constituencies to push the Centre to abolish silence zones, as an amendment to the noise rules. BSGSS’ decision comes a day after HT reported the state asked the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to remove the concept of silence zones from the Noise Pollution (Control and Regulation) Rules, 2000, ahead of this year’s festivals.

Silence zones are areas within a 100m radius of hospitals, courts, educational or religious institutions where noise levels must not exceed 45 decibels (dB) and 40dB during the day and night. There are 1,537 silence zones in the city.

BSGSS members told HT they welcomed the state government’s move and that they will ensure this year’s festivals don’t have as many restrictions as those in previous years. “We are happy CM Fadnavis kept his promise to relax noise norms for Ganeshotsav. We are not against anti-noise campaigners; we just want to celebrate the festival with all the fervour it deserves,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, president, BSGSS.

“These rules affect our daily aarti (prayers),” he said. Dahibhavkar said Ganesh mandals in the state were told to reach out MPs and MLAs as the Centre needs to be “pressurised for the amendment to happen”. “If the silence zone rule is not abolished, we will ask the state government to do away the zones through a notification, for the 10 days of the festival,” said Dahibhavkar.

Noise rules have been blatantly violated in Mumbai over the years. Last year, noise levels during Ganpati reached 116.4 dB. In 2015, noise levels reached 123.7 dB (as loud as a thunderclap). The WHO has said long-term exposure to noise levels between 85db and 90db leads to hearing loss.

Anti-noise campaigners were shocked with the state’s decision and the mandals’ demand. “The state, through its actions, is inciting mandals to cause grievous harm to citizens,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “Instead of encouraging mandals to obey the law, respect the health and rights of others, the state is leading them in harming patients, the elderly.”

After the state’s decision, Yeshwant Oke, the activist who registered the first noise pollution case in Mumbai in the HC, started an online petition that has already got 350 signatures.


    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Traffic chaos at JVPD signal, at Juhu (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)

    JVPD flyover sees light of day; work to start in October: BMC

    Mumbai: Construction of the much-awaited 1.65 kilometre flyover between Juhu Versova Link Road (JVLR) and Mayor Hall near the CD Barfiwala flyover is expected to commence in October, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials said. The civic body floated a ₹350 crore tender on August 8. The flyover, once built, is expected to reduce travel time from Juhu circle to Western Express Highway (WEH) from 45 minutes to five minutes.

  • Police got information that Padelkar was seen in the Sion area from where police arrested him on Wednesday (HT)

    BMC employee arrested for duping 20 job aspirants

    Mumbai: A 31-year-old employee of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly duping people on the pretext of providing them jobs in the civic body. The Park Site police officials said, the accused, Sameer Baban Padelkar, works as a labourer with the D-Ward office of BMC for over a decade. He cheated over 20 people in the last four years and took at least ₹3 to ₹4 lakh from each of them.

  • Police said the shooters left a note written in Hindi that if any one does business outside the centre, they will kill them, said a police officer. (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)

    Unidentified persons fire rounds outside shopping centre in Bandra, threaten hawkers

    Mumbai: Three unidentified persons on a bike, fired a few rounds outside Gazebo shopping centre in Bandra (west) and also directly at the board. Deputy commissioner of police Manjunath Singe of Zone 9 said, “Unidentified persons fired in the air and on the board of Gazebo Shopping centre situated on Linking Road in Khar. No one was injured in the firing.” The incident occurred around 7:45pm on Thursday.

  • New Delhi, India - Aug. 11, 2022: A hawker selling Indian flags ahead of Independence Day celebrations at Ring Road in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, August 11, 2022. (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

    Residents concerned about disposal of national flag post I-Day celebrations

    With several thousands of households, streets, markets and offices expected to be adorned with the national flag between August 13 and August 15, as part of the “Har Ghar Tiranga (tricolour on every household)” campaign to mark the 75th year of Independence, residents have legitimate concerns about whether these flags would be disposed of in a dignified and safe manner once the celebrations are over.

  • Yamuna flows over danger mark at old Iron Bridge in 2021. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

    Flood warning issued as Haryana releases 300,000 cusecs of water in the Yamuna

    The irrigation and flood control department of the Delhi government on Thursday issued the first flood warning for the city after over 300,000 cusecs of water was released into the Yamuna from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana's Yamuna Nagar on August 11, 2022. A senior irrigation and flood control Department said the first warning is being issued as more than 300,000 cusecs of water was released from the barrage located 228km upstream of Delhi.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, August 12, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now